Query: NC_017066:57571 Rickettsia typhi str. TH1527 chromosome, complete genome Lineage: Rickettsia typhi; Rickettsia; Rickettsiaceae; Rickettsiales; Proteobacteria; Bacteria General Information: This genus, like other Rickettsial organisms such as Neorickettsia and Anaplasma, is composed of obligate intracellular pathogens. The latter is composed of two organisms, Rickettsia prowazekii and Rickettsia typhi. The bacteria are transmitted via an insect, usually a tick, to a host organism, in this case humans, where they target endothelial cells and sometimes macrophages. They attach via an adhesin, rickettsial outer membrane protein A, and are internalized where they persist as cytoplasmically free organisms. Transovarial transmission (from mother to offspring) occurs in the invertebrate host. This organism causes murine typhus and is an obligate intracellular pathogen that infects both the flea vector and hosts such as human, rat, and mouse. R. prowazekii, and genomic comparisons demonstrate colinearity and similarity to the genome of that organism except for two independent inversions near the origin and terminus. In the flea vector, the bacterium penetrates the gut epithelial barrier and is found in the feces which become infective.
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General Information: This is the type strain (0581, A2084, genotype 62, Group A3.b) for Bacillus anthracis and contains the two virulence plasmids, pOX1 and pOX2, that encode anthrax toxin and capsule, respectively, making this a virulent strain. This strain is considered the "gold standard" for B. anthracis. Under starvation conditions this group of bacteria initiate a pathway that leads to endospore formation, a process that is thoroughly studied and is a model system for prokaryotic development and differentiation. Spores are highly resistant to heat, cold, dessication, radiation, and disinfectants, and enable the organism to persist in otherwise inhospitable environments. Under more inviting conditions the spores germinate to produce vegetative cells. This organism was the first to be shown to cause disease by Dr. Louis Pasteur (the organism, isolated from sick animals, was grown in the laboratory and then used to infect healthy animals and make them sick). This organism was also the first for which an attenuated strain was developed as a vaccine. Herbivorous animals become infected with the organism when they ingest spores from the soil whereas humans become infected when they come into contact with a contaminated animal. PA/LF and PA/EF complexes are internalized by host cells where the LF (metalloprotease) and EF (calmodulin-dependent adenylate cyclase) components act. At high levels LF induces cell death and release of the bacterium while EF increases host susceptibility to infection and promotes fluid accumulation in the cells.